Maryland looks to keep its unbeaten start to the season going when it hosts Jackson State on Monday night. The Terrapins rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to edge Bucknell on Saturday, while the Tigers come in on a two-game losing streak.
Coach Mark Turgeon’s squad is led by sophomore guards Anthony Cowan Jr. (18.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists) and Kevin Huerter (12, 3.3, 3.7), who are both shooting over 50 percent from the field this season. Reserve freshman guard Darryl Morsell looks like he may be another offensive weapon after he scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half of the comeback against Bucknell on Saturday. The Terrapins’ defense has been solid this season, holding teams to 37.8 percent shooting and 61.8 points a contest. Guard Jeremiah Jefferson and reserve forward Maurice Rivers are the lone double-figure scorers for Jackson State, with each averaging 14 points a contest.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
ABOUT JACKSON STATE (1-2): After being almost an afterthought in recruiting -- the fifth of five signees for coach Wayne Brent -- Jefferson looks like he’s going to be a leader for the Tigers this season. The 6-2 shooter out of Iowa Western Community College did spend time at Weber State, so he has some Division I experience, and it’s shown early, with Jefferson not only tying for the team scoring lead but also leading the Tigers in minutes played, 3-pointers and assists. Jefferson is the most aggressive from beyond the arc, as his 28 attempts in three games are double the next highest total on the team, and that aggressiveness will help against bigger teams that Jackson State will face in the early part of the campaign.
ABOUT MARYLAND (4-0): While he’s not scoring as much as expected so far this season, sophomore Justin Jackson is making his presence felt on the backboards. Jackson, who was named to the Naismith Watch List, is averaging 7.5 points, ranking him sixth on the Terrapins, but he does lead the team in rebounding (10.3 per game) and is tied for second in blocked shots with one per game. Turgeon seems happy with Jackson’s production -- his scoring is down from his 10.5 ppg as a freshman but his rebounding is up from last season’s 6.0 a game -- as the Terrapins have become a much more balanced attack after the departure of last season’s leading scorer Melo Trimble.
1. Maryland’s rebounding margin of +17.3 ranks 10th in the country, compared to last season’s +0.4 margin.
2. Terrapins freshman C Bruno Fernando set career highs with 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in the win over Bucknell.
3. The 15-point comeback win over Bucknell was the largest deficit erased by the Terrapins since a December 2013 win over Tulsa.
PREDICTION: Maryland 86, Jackson State 72